China wholesales Full Year 2021: Nissan Sylphy resists Wuling Hongguang MINI EV assault in market up 3.8%
The Wuling Hongguang MINI EV ends its first full year in market at #2.
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According to CAAM, new vehicle wholesales reduce their fall to -1.6% in December to 2.79 million units, with Passenger Vehicles actually up 2% to 2.42 million units. This means the annual 2021 volume is up 3.8% to 26.28 million units, marking the first year-on-year gain since 2017. Passenger Vehicles are up 6.5% to 21.48 million units whereas Commercial Vehicles drop -6.6% to to 4.8 million units. One main contributor to the market growth in 2021 is the strength of New Energy Vehicles (NEV) which regroup BEV and PHEV, up a whopping 160% to 3.52 million units including 531,000 in December alone (+110%). NEV market share is now at 13.4% share vs. 5.3 % a year ago. Chinese brands have made big sales progress in 2021: at end-November they were up 25.1% to 8,406,000 sales and 44.1% share vs. 37.7% over the same period in 2020. CAAM forecasts a 2022 market up 5.4% to 27.5 million units with NEV sales up 47% to 5 million or 18.2% share. Note China will cut subsidies on NEV by 30% in 2022 and remove them altogether at the end of the year.
In a maturing and fragmenting market with more and more brands entering the charts, Volkswagen (-17%) is the biggest loser in the Top 10 this year, cutting its annual volume by over 440,000 sales. It appears the German manufacturer could be resting on its laurels and count on a pattern of habit to keep the leadership in China and neglect to improve its models quality-wise. This could prove costly in the near future. The launch of the ID. line (ID.3, ID.4 CROZZ, ID.4 X, ID.6 CROZZ and ID.6 X) has missed its target of 80,000 to 100,000 sales (75,517), and the Tayron X (+5.7%) and Tacqua (+2%) are the only nameplates up year-on-year. They can’t compensate for steep falls by the Touran (-66.9%), Viloran (-49.1%), Tayron (-44.1%), T-Roc (-38.6%), T-Cross (-32.2%), Golf (-30.6%), Phideon (-30.2%), Teramont (-28.9%) and CC (-25.8%). In contrast, Toyota (+7.7%) scores the only year-on-year gain in the Top 5 thanks to solid performances by the Wildlander (+56.1%), Camry (+17.1%), RAV4 (+14.1%) and Highlander (+13%), as well as the successful launches of the Crown Kluger (26,000 units) and Harrier (8,900 units).
Toyota overtakes Honda (-6.5%) for 2nd place overall and reduces its gap with Volkswagen from 1.07 million units in 2020 to 509,000 this year. Honda is handicapped by the Crider (-61%), Civic (-35.1%), Avancier (-23.9%), Envix (-(-21.4%), CR-V (-14.5%) and falls into negative despite strong showings by the Life (+307.3%), Fit (+53.8%), Vezel (+15.7%), XR-V (+11.6%), UR-V (+4.5%), Odyssey (+2.6%) and Inspire (+2.1%). Geely (-5.3%) remains the best-selling Chinese manufacturer as it overtakes Nissan (-12.5%) to 4th place overall, taking advantage of significant upticks by the Binyue (+16.9%), Haoyue (+4.5%) and Xingrui (+599.7%) as well as the successful launch of the Xingyue L (53,500 sales). Changan (+15.7%) also advances one spot to #6, passing Buick (-10.5%). Wuling (+101.1%) is the best performer in the Top 10 thanks to the outstanding success of the Hongguang MINI EV (+257.6%) and the successful launch of the Xingchen/Asta (54,500 sales). Haval (+3.1%) is also upon above the other great performer in the Top 10: BYD (+75.9%) up five ranks to #10.
Below, BMW (+7.1%) tops luxury brands, passing Audi (-1.9%) and Mercedes (-6.5%). Chery (+43.5%), Tesla (+249.3%), MG (+53.5%), GAC (+25.1%) and Dongfeng (+38.1%) all post fantastic gains in the remainder of the Top 20. Hongqi (+53.6%) spectacularly progresses to over 300,000 annual sales just as COS (+70.8%), Lynk & Co (+26.4%) and Jetour (+17.9%) also impress inside the Top 30 while Jetta (+11%) seems to be plateauing already at 180,000 sales, far from enough to compensate VW’s fall. Another interesting development is the implosion of Baojun (-48.3%) whose “new Baojun” lineup is an utter failure, adding up to less than 45,000 sales through 7 models. A slew of recently launched Chinese carmakers, some of them start-ups, go from strength to strength and break their monthly volumes multiple times this year: Ora (+140%), Xpeng (+263.5%), NIO (+109.1%), LI (+177.4%) and Neta (+323.8%) have all gone a few steps up from their 2020 volumes. TANK (#42), Pocco (#53), R (#62), Voyah (#74) and Zeekr (#76) top 2021 brand launches.
Looking at the models ranking in isolation, the Nissan Sylphy (-7.8%) drops but remains in the lead for the 2nd year in a row. It resists the assault of the Wuling Hongguang MINI EV (+257.6%) ending its first full year of sales at #2 and ranking #1 in August and December. The VW Lavida (-6.3%) is knocked down one spot to #3, as are the Haval H6 (-1.7%) and Toyota Corolla (-8.1%). The Changan CS75 (+5.6%) advances three spots to #6, the Tesla Model 3 is up by a spectacular 37 ranks to #7 ahead of the Buick Excelle Yinlang (-11.1%) and Wuling Hongguang (-5.3%) while the VW Bora (-25.1%) is down five spots to round out the Top 10. The Tesla Model Y (#19) is the best-selling 2021 launch, distancing the BYD Qin PLUS (#27), TANK 300 (#76) and Haval First Love/Jolion (#89).
Previous month: China wholesales November 2021: Wuling, BYD, MG and 12 domestic brands break volume records in market off -9.1%
Previous year: China wholesales 2020: SUVs outsell cars for the first time, Nissan Sylphy snaps first win, market down just -1.9%
Two years ago: China wholesales 2019: Market down -8.2% to lowest since 2015, New Energy sales down -1.2%, first “winter” for weak Chinese brands
Full December 2021 Top 100 All-brands and Top 475 All-models below.
Full Year 2021 Top 115 All-brands and Top 680 All-models vs. Full Year 2020 figures below.